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Meeting Ben Franklin at Summer 2012 AAPT in Philly!

Every year something very neat and unexpected happens at AAPT National Meetings. It is of course super fun to see all my physics teaching friends and colleagues, but it is something I expect to happen. However, I am always going to the meetings in anticipation of good surprises and amazing “aha” moments. For example, a year and a half ago in Jacksonville, Florida we saw a performance by nobody else, but Marie Curie… This year, this aha moment happened when Mr. Benjamin Franklin himself attended the conference. If I came a little bit more prepared, I would have expected that. First of all, the conference took place in Philly, not just in Philly, but at the University of Pennsylvania – the university, Ben Franklin himself helped to found more than 300 years ago (in 1740)! Secondly, the conference had a slogan “Physics: The experimental core“, and lastly I bought tickets to Ben Franklin show… Anyways, it was an amazing opportunity to appreciate this amazing person who was so many years ahead of his time. Just think how much he has affected our lives: all the experiments with electricity, daylight savings time, bifocal lenses, to name a few… I also enjoyed to learn about his Poor Richard’ Almanack Ben Franklin founded, as well as his journey from a child, who was only able to attend a few grades in a primary school to a person who influenced the history of the United States and the history of science as well… It was fascinating. I am grateful to AAPT Summer 2012 Conference organizing committee for such an amazing conference. I keep thinking we should organize this conference in Vancouver… Maybe in a few years.

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